The Haunted Beach House

Nationality: American
Primary Language: English
Other language(s): N/A
Age: 18
Occupation: Student
Residence: California
Performance Date: November 27th, 2023

Tags: Ghosts, Ghost, Ghost Stories, Haunted House, Haunted

Text/Context: This week, I sat down with one of my good friends, C, in the dining hall to talk about ghosts. She’s a first year student at USC and we both have a similar belief about ghosts and their existence. I recorded our conversation, and the following excerpt is a written transcript:

“So, I have a family house that’s on the beach and my grandparents built it. They, my grandpa, like literally built the house. Okay, so my grandparents built the house and my grandparents died before I ever knew them. My grandma died when my dad was in high school and my grandpa died when my dad was in college. And um, there have been other like, deaths in the family and my parents have always said that that house was haunt-well no haunted. That it’s spirited. So, basically, my dad will wake up in the middle of the night and hear kids playing on the beach. And there’s nobody on the beach, it’s high tide and it’s like 2am. But he’ll hear the sounds of children playing. Um, I’ll wake up and I’ll see like figures standing in the corners of the room and it’s not like oh my god I’m freaked out it’s like oh I’m comforted right now cause like I know somehow that maybe it’s my family. Like, just watching me sleep. What else… my sister’s friend’s mom, she’s like, very, like I wouldn’t call her a medium but she’s very in touch with the spiritual side of things, and she walked into the house and there’s a staircase that you can see from the dining room. So she looked at the stairs and she was like, who’s that standing on the landing of the stairs? And we all turned and there was a shadowy figure standing there and then it disappeared and she said she had noticed it when she walked in. It was really weird.”

My Thoughts: I thought one of the interesting aspects of this story was the fact that C’s parents referred to the house as spiritual rather than haunted. It showcases how the way people’s opinions about ghosts is very dependent on how they grew up and the people surrounding them. The fact that they call the house spiritual most likely means they feel that the word haunted has negative connotations. Views on ghosts vary from society to society and family to family, and one must understand that there is a large variety of words that can mean similar things. In this story, the ghosts are not threatening, so there is no reason to speak of them in a negative manner by saying the house is haunted. There were also a lot of different occurrences that happened in this house, rather than one isolated incident. This lends to the classic ghost motif of haunted houses which have been prevalent throughout history, with ghosts consistently haunting a house and staying there for long periods of time. It is hard to decipher if the figures that the family is seeing is their grandparents specifically, or just their relatives in general. Unlike other ghost stories I’ve heard, there was no physical manifestation of a ghost that took full human form, and it simply remained as shadowy figures. However, the family members did not feel much fear about the ghosts, going as far as feeling somewhat comforted by the thought of their family members watching over them.